The Gap

The gap between my thighs.

I can’t look at it.  I cringe when I see it in the mirror: empty space framed by twig legs.  The gap that makes girls envy me, the gap that they starve and hurt and die for is the gap that I dream of being rid of.

Sometimes I like to imagine what it would feel like for my thighs to brush against each other as I walk.  I imagine that I would feel powerful, and that I would own the space I am in.  I would be more than a branch sticking into the air.  I would be a full person, with fat and muscle and bones and skin and intelligence and I would feel human.

I hold this image in my head as I scoop another serving on my plate even though I am full.  Family or friends that sit with me say, “Have some more!”  They look me up and down.  “You could use it.”  They are right.  I want to fill the space between my legs, so I force my stomach to take more, praying that it will all stay down.

The gap between who I am and who I want to be.

I want to be strong.

I want to strike fear in the hearts of the men who made me afraid.  I want to be strong enough to protect the ones suffering at their hands.  I cannot.

I want to be respected.

I want people to see that my youth, my gender, and my frail appearance have nothing to do with how worthy I am of being heard.  It seems, though, that I have been deemed unworthy.  My effort, my reputation, they have done little.  It is out of my control.

I spend all my efforts trying to close the gap: make other people a little more comfortable with who I am, make me a little more comfortable with who I am?

I think I will be happy when the gap between my thighs closes, but the gap between me and my ideal never will.  My ideal will always be higher than who I am.

Things to be okay with:

  • The Gap

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